Thanksgiving Paradox

Thanksgiving weekend is sure a mixed bag, emotional complexity-wise…for a lot of us... isn't it?? (Christmas too, of course).

It’s Thanksgiving weekend in Canada (we celebrate it much earlier than the Americans do).

Families get together on this weekend & cook a turkey (assuming they are meat-eaters) & eat mashed potatoes & squash & pumpkin pie. It’s tradition! There is usually a lot of food – & often a lot of people – involved.

This was true for me for many, many years of my life. Decades. Divorce changed all that. I have a tendency to get a little “Oh poor me”-ish most Thanksgiving weekends. (Yes, it’s quite tiresome – even to me.)

The irony or paradox is this: many people apparently don’t really enjoy Thanksgiving weekend – either ‘cos they have to do a s-itload of work, cooking & baking & cleaning, &/or they resent “hosting” the extended family year after year, or their children don’t spend enough time with them, or they hate having to spend time with weird Uncle Bill or Aunt Frieda or… are you getting my drift??

There appears to be an almost infinite # of ways to dread & fail to enjoy Thanksgiving weekend.

Me, I feel a little hard done by because I am no longer an integral member of a large & happy conglomeration of people (more or less) related by blood – & I often get that “left out” feeling. (Last year I wrote about this under the blog posting title ‘Not wanted on the voyage’ )

Yet I think some of my friends envy me because I don’t have to work my butt off, entertain relatives I could quite frankly live nicely without, thank you very much, & I actually have the freedom to enjoy long walks or bike rides, some much-appreciated solitude, & usually still manage to be invited to a lovely gathering of one conglomeration of people or another, to boot!!

Since I’m pretty good at practicing gratitude on a regular basis, I’m actively grateful for a great many things indeed. Maybe I’ll always be a little sorry I’m not part of a semi-tight & semi-decent & semi-normal (whatever that is) “family” – but I am grateful that I seldom have to hang out with folks who really bug me in a big way – & I’m also (now that I think of it) grateful that Thanksgiving only comes around once a year!! Its emotional freight is a little on the exhausting side…you know??

Janet

p.s. The post ‘Card Therapy or Families: It’s All Relative' covers some ground about all of us & our … dysfunctional families – in this very, very, very dysfunctional world of ours.

Quote of the day: “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. It turns problems into gifts, failures into successes, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. It can turn an existence into a real life, and disconnected situations into important and beneficial lessons. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie, in The Language of Letting Go. (more quotations on gratitude here)